Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots

Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots

WSJ  – U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements.

Federal mandates taking effect next summer will require all newly hired pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of prior flight experience—six times the current minimum—raising the cost and time to train new fliers in an era when pay cuts and more-demanding schedules already have made the profession less attractive. Meanwhile, thousands of senior pilots at major airlines soon will start hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Another federal safety rule, to take effect in early 2014, also will squeeze the supply, by giving pilots more daily rest time. This change is expected to force passenger airlines to increase their pilot ranks by at least 5%. Adding to the problem is a small but steady stream of U.S. pilots moving to overseas carriers, many of which already face an acute shortage of aviators and pay handsomely to land well-trained U.S. captains.

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Candice writes for several publications, including The Christian Post, Red State, The Black Sphere and Patriot Update. She is the Science & Tech Editor at the Minority Report Blog and the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Front Lines. She's also the founder of Candice Lanier's Tech News and works as a computer consultant. Additionally, Candice is an antiques dealer.

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